Welcome to Smart…but Clueless about Money!

Are you someone at the top of your game professionally, but you lack time or interest in the details of money management? Do you feel like that there is more that you could be doing with your money? Are you suffering from information overload from the media? This blog is designed to help you focus […]

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Your Company is Going Public – How Does This Affect Your Long-Term Incentive Plan?

You started working at a high-tech or biotech company when it was privately held and you were granted employee stock options.  Now that your company is going public, it is likely that future grants will be mainly  in the form of restricted stock or restricted stock units (RSU’s).  Why is there a change in equity […]

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Contributing to Your Work Retirement Plan: Time is on Your Side

How much should you contribute to your 401(k) plan? Are you overwhelmed by the investment selections for your retirement plan? These questions can be crippling.  To quote the French philosopher Voltaire “The perfect is the enemy of the good” (“Le mieux est l’ennemi du bien”).  The sooner you start contributing, the more time your money will […]

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Capital Gains Tax

Selling Your Home? Don’t Forget Capital Gains Tax!

You are getting ready to list your house for sale.  Vase of flowers on the kitchen counter, fresh paint, stacks of magazines and mail out of sight.  You are doing a great job maximizing the appeal and potential sale price of your home.  The other strategy to earn the most from your home sale is […]

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Growing into your Next Career – How to Get Started as an Entrepreneur

You are thinking about a change in career.  Maybe it’s because you work in a fast-paced field, like high-tech, and are concerned about your long-term employment prospects.  Or you’re burnt out and would like to explore other options.  It can be a daunting prospect making a change, especially in the San Francisco Bay area with […]

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Diversification for the Disinterested Investor – the ABC’s of Mutual Funds

What if you had to build a portfolio from individual stocks for your 401(k) plan or other investment accounts?  Would you have the time and interest to research the financials and outlook for specific companies?  That’s what investing used to be like before mutual funds came along.  What follows is a primer on the evolving […]

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Your Company Stock – The Importance of Diversification

You have probably heard about the importance of diversifying your investment portfolio – i.e. not putting all your eggs in one basket.  What follows is a brief narrative of Elan Pharmaceuticals, where I formerly worked as a research scientist. I learned a valuable lesson about diversification, and hope you can benefit from this example.  Imagine watching […]

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A Look Back at Blog Posts for 2013 – Putting It All Together

Since the launch of “Smart But Clueless about Money” in 2013, there have been over twenty-five posts on a number of topics.  To help you make the most of this blog, this piece is dedicated to a review of content arranged thematically (with links to individual posts).  I look forward to a dialogue with you […]

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Three Items for Your December Tax Checklist

December is the time we think about shopping for gifts for family and friends.  If you get in the mindset that this is also the time to fine-tune your finances, you may have more money for gifts for next year!  Here are a couple of items to review which may help reduce your taxes.  For […]

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budget for holiday shopping

Will Black Friday be Your Red Friday? How to Take Charge of Holiday Spending

Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) is the retailers’ term for the day they go in the black (become profitable for the year).  This short post will help you plan for spending for the holidays, so that you don’t go in the red.  Holiday shopping is a lot like grocery shopping – if you have […]

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